Category Archives: Recent Posts

New President and General Manager of Milamar Coatings

We are pleased to announce that Kyle Frans has been named as the President & General Manager of Milamar Coatings.   Mr. Frans brings to the position over 15 years of knowledge of the coatings industry.  Having  served  in production, accounting, administrative and senior management roles at Milamar, he truly knows the business from the bottom up.  Most recently he has served as Chief Financial Officer/Executive Vice President.    Kyle looks forward to continuing the growth of our brand and company by identifying and filling the needs of our customers. 

 

Grand Coulee Dam-ICO Gel

 

Coulee Dam ICO Gel repair and sealA unique project was completed in Mid-2014 at the Grand Coulee Dam, located in Washington State. The contractor was charged with the task of coating the entire draft tube surface with ICO Gel totaling a 40’x40’ square structure.

The product had to meet stringent installation criterion, such as ability to cure at lower temperatures, easy to mix and apply, relatively long working and open time for application. The product had to be applied and have success with minimal surface preparation requirements.

Coulee Dam ICO Gel site coatings inspection

Moreover, the final product had to exhibit good flow characteristics and overall smoothness. The product had be 100% solids, (no VOC’s), per ASTM C-881 be able to hold and not slump in vertical or overhead application and be able to be applied up to 1” thick in a single application.

Based on these extensive tests and evaluation, USBR had established that ICO Gel would meet all the requirements to use as the skim coat was only expected to be ½” thick.

ICO Gel can be easily and effectively installed in one step, even when installed on a damp substrate. Proper surface preparation using high-pressure water was needed and insured that the single step coating of ICO Gel gave a uniform and well-bonded surface, using standard trowel techniques.

The conditions of the concrete exhibited extreme wear, mostly in a vertical orientation. Deep striations were on average from ½” to ¾” deep and were a perfect substrate, once cleaned and roughly dried, to receive ICO Gel. The initial thought was to cover the entire surface with a ½” coating of the gel, but, the contractor ended up filling the vertical fissured with ICO Gel and applied approximately a 1/8” skim coat over the overall surface. Also present were deeper holes and some limited spalling which was also smoothed and filled with ICO Gel at the same time.  All impregnated dirt and debris on the substrate had to be cleaned and prepared to receive the product.


Access to the draft tube, which is 230 feet down from the turbine deck, was by the overhead crane lowering a six-man basket.  All tools, equipment, man-lifts, products, etc. had to be lowered down daily as needed. The material was stored above on the turbine deck to maintain a warmer product temperature and which would facilitate mixing and application. The work environment and temperature of the concrete substrate was a steady 55 degrees ºF which can make ICO Gel slightly thicker and more viscous.

Coulee Dam ICO Gel field conditions

Due to site constraints including confined space requirements, normal safety standards at a hydroelectric dam, limited to no solvents allowed (for cleaning tools and potential automated application equipment), and other constraints meant that very strict working procedures had to be followed. There were also high environmental standards which applied since the Columbia River outflow is a highly sensitive area in terms of fish and wildlife.

The fact that ICO Gel could be installed over limited surface preparation and with no priming meant that the daily production rate was acceptable to the contractor and owner. Tolerance for damp (not “wet”) surfaces was also a plus as the area could never really be totally dried out and humidity was virtually 100% at all times during the installation cycle.


Coulee Dam ICO Gel Concrete surface restoration high pressure washing surface prepThe coating concrete surface of the draft tube with ICO Gel prevented further wear, limited further degradation and erosion, with surface flow coefficients greatly improved. The USBR is confident in the overall outcome and is therefore proceeding with the same coating on the second unit draft tube in January 2016 and third in 2017-18.

Coulee Dam ICO Gel Appication of Epoxy

Coatings that Provide Improved Performance and Flexibility at Low Temperatures

Cold Weather Thermometer

The urgent need of low temperature coatings across different application segments is increasing as trends towards reduction of process and curing temperatures grows. The sustenance of the coatings and their ability to meet the performance requirements at low temperatures for industrial applications is the key factor that will decide the wide scale adoption of low temperature coatings. Strict environmental regulations limit the development of conventional aromatic coatings and health and handling hazards assessed by organizations such as REACH and RoHS in addition strict VOC Emissions standards can increase the opportunities for low temperature coatings across various industries including oil & gas, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing and so on.

This research service titled, “Low Temperature Coatings for Industrial Applications” captures the technology innovations in the field of low temperature coatings with emphasis on the emerging technology trends and developments. The research also highlights the market, industry, and regional trends in the different industrial sectors and assess the key sectors in which wide scale adoption can be expected in the next three years.

For more information please click on:
http://www.researchandmarkets.com/publication/mvsxk8s/low_temperature_coatings_for

Key Findings:

– Low temperature coatings provide flexibility and improved performance at extreme low temperatures. Powder coatings are the coatings primarily used for low temperature settings in industrial applications. A vast number of systems such as epoxies, polyurethanes, tungsten carbide, and so on are being used to develop these coatings.

– Low temperature coatings have applications across all industries though the requirement and range are specific to a particular application. Industrially, the top three application segments for low temperature coatings include architecture, oil & gas, and consumer goods.

– The highest development of low temperature coatings can be expected in North America, followed by Europe and Asia Pacific. Countries that are the top research areas include United States and Western European countries such as France. In APAC region, China and Korea are leading in this space.

– Coatings with better adhesion and corrosion protection are the top research focus areas along with lower peel off on the edges which results from stronger adherence. Currently, the major challenge in this market stems from the changing designs of components in different industries.

– A lot of investments and funding is needed in this market to develop more low temperature coatings, especially in unique forms such as Nano-coatings, self-healing low temperature coatings, and so on.

– A strict regulatory scenario, especially in North America, makes it difficult for stakeholders to flourish. However, efforts are underway to make these coatings more eco-friendly and reduce user health hazards. Solutions are also being developed for difficulties in handling the coatings.

– For low temperature coatings the top application areas vary from consumer goods to oil and gas. The top three application sector analysis in the opportunity strategy evaluation gives a clear picture of the industries which have the considerable opportunities for low temperature coatings.

Milamar provides CT (Cold Temperature) systems that will cure down to 30°F. Feel free to check out our 3300CT to learn more or call customer service at 800-459-7659.

How to Speed Up Cure Times

With the ever-increasing time pressure on contractors to return the floor to service as fast as possible, there are increasing requests to speed up the cure times.  While fast cure hardeners are helpful, as application temperatures drop down to 50°F and even below, turnaround times become much longer.  One way to speed things up a little is to allow the mixed product to sit in the bucket (“induct”) for several minutes prior to applying.  This will generate more heat and thus, will accelerate the cure times, especially when applied on relatively cold floors.   Obviously, this induction process cannot be carried out too long as it will greatly reduce working times, as well.  The last thing you need is for the material to start gelling as soon as you apply it!  While this is by no means a standard operating procedure, it has proven helpful, particularly in trowel-applied floors, in shortening the cure times.

In many thin film applications, the winning bidder will have figured out how to cut his installation times compared to his competition.  One way to do this is to cut labor costs on the job by minimizing the number of coats.  While many applicators prefer to apply a primer and then two top coats to ensure best adhesion and hide, there are some useful short cuts.  One is to thin the first coat with solvent, thereby improving the penetration and hence, the adhesion.  However, this has the disadvantage of producing an odor and always could result in entrapped solvent weakening the film.  Perhaps a better way is to order our low viscosity primer tinted so that just one top coat will be needed to provide the desired hide.  In this way, you have provided the customer with the best possible adhesion, without having to apply a costly third coat.

speed_up_time_hw

Are Those Pin Holes in My Floor?

Occasionally when you inspect a cured resinous coating or topping you see areas of the floor dotted with pin holes, dried bubbles, or the volcano look of exploded bubbles. Rarely is this across the entire floor, typically it’s is in isolated sections. While there are various reasons for this phenomenon ranging from environmental conditions such as air movement over the slab and coating to the formulation of the material, over rolling while installing, mixing at high rate of speed or with an inappropriate mix blade all of which can introduce air into the final product and produce this effect. But all of these too can be controlled, either by the manufacturer when formulating or the applicator when installing. The most common reason for this issue is known as “outgassing” in our industry defined as: the slow escape of air from a concrete slab while the coating or overlayment is curing, resulting in pinholes in the finished coating.

As we know concrete is a porous, permeable material with microscopic air pockets resulting from the hydration process when it cures. While it is possible to “densify” the surface of the concrete by power troweling and/or by adding “cure and seals” etc…, this process is negated by the need when applying non-breathable coatings to open up the surface by shot blasting, grinding or other mechanical means to obtain a clean abraded surface to which the coating can bond to. Such preparation greatly increases the likelihood of air to escape from the slab. If the topping is impermeable, and the vapor pressure is high enough, such escaping air will likely result in pinholes.

What causes this entrapped air to want to escape? Its basic physics in that air expands as it is heated. Several factors lead to heating of the entrained air: the curing of the coating is an exothermic reaction that generates heat (the thicker the coating, the more heat is generated); if the slab is colder than the air space above it, then a temperature gradient exists to cause air to want to flow from the colder slab to the warmer air. A third factor at work here would be air circulation over the slab that will also increase the tendency of the air to want to escape the slab.

So how is outgassing prevented? The most widely used preventative measure is to try sealing the concrete after surface preparation with a low viscosity, deep penetrating primer. Note that the primer will only be effective in sealing the surface once it dries at least tack free; otherwise, passageways will still be left in the primer allowing air to escape into the top coats. Depending on the porosity of the concrete, however, one thin sealer coat cannot always be expected to completely seal the substrate. And especially with clear primers, it is very difficult to judge whether the concrete has been completely sealed.

Pinholes

A more effective means of preventing outgassing is to reverse the flow of air by making sure the slab is at an equal or greater temperature than the overhead air, thereby reversing the air flow. To do this requires either, pre-heating the slab by direct heat or increasing the air temperature sufficiently to bring the slab temperature up to the ambient conditions, then shutting off the heat in the room. Reducing any external air flow (from open doors, windows, and HVAC units) is also highly recommended to help minimize outgassing. If these two conditions are met, the primer step can be safely eliminated for self-priming overlayments; otherwise, priming is strongly recommended prior to applying top coats.

Other means of minimizing (or completely eliminating) outgassing is by installation of a permeable top coat. For example, drier troweled mixes, unlike resin-rich formulas, are porous enough to allow air to escape. Of course, this porosity greatly reduces the beneficial effects of a sealed top coat that prevents liquids and other contaminants from entering the substrate, particularly in wet environments. Some water-based primers that are breathable have been offered as a solution to outgassing, but, these are only effective if the top coats are also “breathable”. A more commonly used application method is to apply toppings by the slurry/seed method, where an aggregate such as sand is applied to refusal. Such displacement of the air by the added aggregate helps to reduce chances for pin-holing from outgassing.

In the warm and dry environment of our desert West and Southwest, timing of the application whether early in the morning or late in the evening and avoiding as much as possible direct exposure to sunlight can prevent or at least minimize this effect. The use of a pigmented primer is most helpful in identifying those troublesome areas that can be rectified early on usually by re-priming them. The opposite is true if the slab is warmer than the air above it, so in cold environments warm air in the slab pulls cold air above it downward into the slab, in essence the reverse of outgassing and the problem is avoided.

Repairing outgassing issues requires recoating with the same material and since these coatings have a limited shelf life they are usually batch manufactured for each job. Thus it is difficult to just apply solely over the affected area without it looking like a patch after curing. So to correct it aesthetically and functionally it may require the entire area or at least that entire room or area that is isolated from the rest of the floor to be recoated. This is quite the expense in time, materials and labor.

Being aware of the conditions that lead to outgassing is the first priority in preventing it. Following these precautions in planning your installations can greatly reduce the risk of outgassing, thereby saving you the expense and aggravation of rectifying the problem after the fact.

CASS Polymers, Inc. Announces Executive Changes

June 29, 2015 – Milamar Coatings, a wholly-owned subsidiary of CASS Polymers, Inc., announced today that Jim Panebianco has joined the Company as Chief Executive Officer.  Mr. Panebianco steps into the role previously held by founder Doug Frans who continues with the Company as Chairman of the Board concentrating efforts on growth initiatives and strategic matters.

 Mr. Panebianco has more than 25 years of experience in the formulated products industry.  He started his career in Field Sales, with concentrations in adhesives, coatings and encapsulating materials, for Hysol/Henkel and Emerson & Cuming.  He later assumed positions in Product Management, Sales Management, Technical Service Management and Marketing Management.  Following a move to Cytec, Jim became a Business Unit Director, managing four epoxy and polyurethane businesses with over $100 million in sales.  Jim also served as President of a private company using film adhesives to manufacture custom flooring, interior panels and doors for the transportation industry.

 Jim holds a Masters Degree in Business Administration from Loyola College and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from St. Bonaventure University.

 Jim has relocated to the Company’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.  His wife and three of his four children will join him soon.

 In a separate release, CASS Polymers announced that Kyle Frans has been promoted to Executive Vice President, adding to his duties as Chief Financial Officer.  Mr. Frans has been with the Company for over 13 years during which he has served in operational, accounting, finance and strategic roles.  In this newly-created position, Kyle will assume additional responsibility for strategic planning, treasury and business relationships, working directly with Mr. Panebianco and the Board.

 Doug Frans stated that these changes within the management team of the CASS companies are positive steps, supporting the growth and diversification of Company operations and focus.

How To Fix Battery Charging Areas

battery charging areaFloors in battery charging areas see a considerable amount of heavy mechanical wear, impact and chemical attack from the sulfuric acid (about 20-30% concentration).  Hence, a thin film coating cannot be expected to provide more than a stopgap solution.

For far superior long term performance, we have had excellent success with our resin-rich, ICO Floor 51 troweled system applied at a minimum thickness of one quarter inch. It resists up to 50% sulfuric acid for seven days and is a flexibilized system that will better resist impact than conventional, more brittle epoxies.  And because it is a resin-rich material it does not rely on a thin “sealer” coat for protecting against liquid infiltration, thus enabling this floor to far outperform conventional dry, top coated floors.

There are a few other concerns, however, that should be addressed.  One is the staining issue.  Sulfuric acid will stain resinous floors, usually turning a gray floor pink.  While this does not mean there is chemical attack, if this unsightliness is objectionable to the customer, then we suggest adding a top coat of our Ure Guard 100 which does have better stain resistance.  Note, however, that especially with an added urethane top coat it is important to regularly wash down the floor if there is battery acid spillage, as if left exposed for too long, water evaporates, resulting in the 20-30% acid turning into a more concentrated, aggressive version, thereby resulting in a potential chemical attack on the urethane, but not the epoxy floor underneath it.

Do You Need To Take Moisture Tests Before Applying an Epoxy Coating Over A New Slab With A Vapor Barrier?

wet floorYes, you do – for a couple of reasons.  The first is that hydration pressure from the evaporation of water during the concrete curing process can still be a problem, depending on curing conditions, amount of excess water used in the concrete mix, and cure time of the slab.  Best to measure this rate of moisture evaporation with a plastic sheet test to determine the time it takes for moisture to form on the underside.  If this time is shorter than the tack free time for our primer (about 6 hours for Primer LVFC at 70°F), then you must wait before applying the material.

While the presence of the vapor barrier should prevent any subsurface moisture pressure from adversely affecting the coating, it is still a good idea to run calcium chloride tests to provide an extra measure of insurance, as problems can result from the barrier being penetrated during the installation of the concrete.  This is especially a problem if a thin (6 mils) film is used.  We recommend a minimum 10 mil or greater, reinforced vapor barrier be used to guard against this ripping of the film during installation.  The other reason for running calcium chloride tests is in cases where the barrier is placed below sand and gravel, rather than directly under the slab, as entrapped moisture in the sand could result in a high enough water content to cause delamination of the coating.  Note that for our ¼” trowelled systems, we recommend a maximum allowable water content of 10 pounds, and 5 pounds or less for “thin film” applications.

How to minimize application time when installing decorative quartz floors

Our contractors faced with short customer down times, often ask us how to best apply our decorative quartz floors within very narrow window, sometimes as little as 36 hours. Typically, a color quartz floor entails two broadcast coats with an additional single clear coat to seal the system. With our regular PM DBS system, using our resin and our ICO Sealer top coat, intervals between coats are typically 12-24 hours depending on temperatures.

Of course, the contractor could apply the color quartz as a one-step trowelled system, but this method is dependent on installer skill and experience and may not look as good as a double broadcast floor and it still requires a clear seal coat. A better choice would be to use our Floor Coating FC clear coating or PM fast cure resins  for all three steps. Jobs that have been installed with this system at ambient conditions have been completed in as little as 36 hours, from shutdown to start up. These materials broadcasted to refusal with color quartz can be ready for the second coat within about six hours. The same material can also be used as the final sealer coat, as it has excellent clarity and also cures fast enough to return the floor back in service 12 hours after the last application. It’s a tight squeeze but can (and has) been done in several retail establishments, notorious for short windows. In cases where UV resistance is key use ICO Ure Guard 80 or PM 500 urethane.

The slight extra material cost (about $.25/SF for the 1/8” double broadcast system) is well worth it when it means you can accommodate a good customer’s wishes. The other advantage of stocking this Floor Coating FC clear material is that, in conjunction with one of our tint concentrates, it can be easily converted to a pigmented coating as needed. All you need to do is stock quart containers of our ICO Tint (each quart is sufficient for a 4 gallons of the clear coat).